Some people live in a world that the rest of us can't even begin to recognize.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 4: My New Roommate

Prisons are way too overcrowded so it didn't take long for them to put someone new in my room as soon as my first roommate left. Casey the candy thief had only been gone a few hours when an officer unlocked the cell door and a woman walked in with her bag of possessions. She stood in the doorway and looked at me sitting in the bottom bunk, and announced that she has a bottom bunk order because she has a broken wrist. Well, I told her that I have a bottom bunk order, too (because of my age--being older does have its benefits here). I wasn't about to give up my bottom bunk. And the new roommate looked a little rough and tough. And scary. A middle-aged biker chick with a mullet. But then again, everyone in prison looks scary to me.

The new roommate said her name was Elaine. She stood in the doorway staring at me for a few minutes. I assumed she was waiting for me to move out of the bottom bunk and let her have it. I finally told her that I needed the bottom bunk, and maybe she could hurry and ask the officer to put her in a room where she could also have a bottom bunk. She calmly said she would stay with me, and she'd be fine with the top bunk. She didn't seem upset at all (bottom bunks are high priority here in prison).

It didn't take long for me to realize that my first impression of Elaine was completely wrong. She was quite personable, easy-going, and seemed to always be in a positive mood. Elaine and I became quite good friends, and I actually had fun during the time she was my roommate!

A few days after Elaine arrived I asked her why she didn't ask for another room when she found out she couldn't have the bottom bunk. She actually said that after spending just a few minutes with me she knew I couldn't really be a criminal, and she'd rather have the top bunk in a room with me than take the chance of getting a bad roommate! I felt somewhat pleased and flattered by that statement, especially given that this was Elaine's sixth incarceration, and any compliments she gave were based on years of knowledge and experience!

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